Using Monte Carlo simulations, the impact of different levels of risks on indemnification through an income stabilisation tool is investigated at the sector level. The presented approach, using the IACS database, allows analyses of differences across farms with respect to farm type and farm size, applying average-based approaches. Such preliminary information is useful for policy makers responsible for the design and introduction of measures to tackle income risk issues and to identify potential beneficiary groups among farmers. The analysis shows that on average 25 per cent of farms would be indemnified annually, the majority in fruit production, the dairy sector and hop production. Mixed farm types, with a share of 34 per cent, receive only 15 per cent of the total sum of indemnity. However, if EUR 12,000 of average income is set as the threshold for participation in such a tool, only 6 per cent of farms participate and only 13.3 per cent of them would be indemnified. Indemnity at farm level would range between EUR 82 and 40,870. Taking into account all farms in the sector, the average indemnity is EUR 918 per farm and almost EUR 13,500 for the second case.
This paper investigates the symmetry of impact from three main food scare events on both the upstream and downstream price transmissions in the Chinese pork market through monthly data from 2001 to 2014. Based on a theoretical model, we firstly estimate the VAR systems for pork retail price and price transmissions in different links, and then plot the impulse response function and dynamic multiplier function respectively for endogenous substitute good price and exogenous food scare events. Empirical results indicate the asymmetry of price transmission in the Chinese pork market, and demand and supply shocks from three food scare incidents are found to impact retail price and price transmissions differentially. In addition, shocks from the same incident on price and price transmissions are significantly different. This research provides implications for farmers, business managers and policy makers to make strategies in response to food scare events.
Good initiatives for sustainable innovations are everywhere. The biotope selects. How can a conducive biotope be created where such initiatives will flourish and develop into successful innovations? Where can initiators easily find partners and funds to make their dreams come true? What can innovation support agencies do concretely to make a difference? These are the central questions in the European Union Horizon 2020 project AgriSpin. Here, we share our first experiences from AgriSpin, in which 15 partner organisations in 12 European regions are learning from and with each other about successful approaches to innovation brokering. Firstly, we summarise some bottlenecks that are frequently mentioned in the literature. Then the design of the project is described. A key element is the series of ‘cross-visits’ hosted by the partners. At the time of writing, all cross-visits have been made, and the project has entered a digestion period in which we try to make sense of what has been observed. The next step is to design action plans for each partner organisation and the key actors in the regions where they operate. So, this paper reports work in progress. Nevertheless, some interesting ‘pearls’ and ‘puzzles’ can already be reported.
In this paper, we employ a novel, network analysis based approach to gain new insights with respect to the changes in the structure of intra-European Union (EU) milk product trade between 2001 and 2012. Several network indices are computed to assess the relative importance of the countries from a number of perspectives. The results emphasise that the trade network has become denser, yet its overall centralisation slightly decreased during the period. While the impacts of the 2004 EU enlargement are clearly visible, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis are less evident. Integration of countries that joined the EU in 2004 or 2007 (the so-called New Member States, NMS) is only partial, and depends on the category of milk product considered. Although the number of NMS trade relations increased constantly between 2001 and 2012, the relative importance of most of them did not change. A significant exception is Poland, which became one of the most important exporting countries.
In this paper, the results of an interview survey of farmers in Győr-Moson-Sopron, Fejér, Hajdú-Bihar, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok, Pest and Zala (NUTS 3) counties of Hungary are used to demonstrate the major factors of climate change perception, such as the terms psychological climate, temporality and problem localisation. Adaptation strategies are also discussed. The interview results underline the subjectivity of temporality as well as the fact that the phenomenon of localisation and the narratives for place attachment differ when climate change is interpreted within the locality. Considering adaptation, it seems that Hungarian agriculture includes individuals who can be regarded as leaders or as people escaping ahead in terms of climatic adaptation, but the majority seems to be unable to follow them because they lack the necessary knowledge, technology or financial resources.
Feeding the world’s population in a sustainable manner is one of the key challenges facing the future of global agriculture. The recent removal of the milk quota regime in the European Union has prompted an expansionary phase in dairy farming, especially in Ireland. Achieving this expansion in a sustainable manner is crucial to the long-term survival and success of the Irish dairy sector. In this paper we examine the sustainability of Irish dairy farming, defining ‘sustainability’ as economically profitable, environmentally friendly and socially efficient. A typology of Irish dairy farms has been created using data on profitability, environmental efficiency and social integration derived from the Teagasc National Farm Survey. Economic, social and environmental performance indicators were determined and aggregated and then used in a multivariate analysis for the identification and classification of farm clusters. The purpose of this study to classify Irish dairy farms using performance indicators, thereby, assisting policy makers in identifying patterns in farm performance with a view to formulating more targeted policies. Two of the three clusters elicited from the analysis were similar in regards to their respective indicator scores. However, the remaining cluster was found to perform poorly in comparison. The results indicate a clear distinction between ‘good’ and ‘weak’ performers, and the positive relationship between the economic, environmental and social performance of Irish dairy farms is evident.
Using Monte Carlo simulations, the impact of diff erent levels of risks on indemnification through an income stabilisation tool is investigated at the sector level. The presented approach, using the IACS database, allows analyses of diff erences across farms with respect to farm type and farm size, applying average-based approaches. Such preliminary information is useful for policy makers responsible for the design and introduction of measures to tackle income risk issues and to identify potential beneficiary groups among farmers. The analysis shows that on average 25 per cent of farms would be indemnified annually, the majority in fruit production, the dairy sector and hop production. Mixed farm types, with a share of 34 per cent, receive only 15 per cent of the total sum of indemnity. However, if EUR 12,000 of average income is set as the threshold for participation in such a tool, only 6 per cent of farms participate and only 13.3 per cent of them would be indemnified. Indemnity at farm level would range between EUR 82 and 40,870. Taking into account all farms in the sector, the average indemnity is EUR 918 per farm and almost EUR 13,500 for the second case.
Given the strong dependence of its economic results on natural factors, agriculture is characterised by high exposure to risk. This paper explores the relationship between the prevailing ‘model of agriculture’ in a country and methods of risk management (in particular, insurance schemes). The Czech Republic and Poland are post-socialist countries which are characterised by different models of agricultural development. While agriculture in the Czech Republic is oriented to industrial farming with large farms, Polish agriculture has a bipolar structure that includes both small, family-owned farms and large agricultural holdings. Various approaches to agricultural insurance schemes may arise from the contrasting models of agriculture, and substantial differences in both the demand and supply sides of the crop and livestock insurance markets indicate different policy approaches to the role of agriculture in the economies of the two countries. In both the Czech Republic and Poland, policy options for farm risk management should consider the balance between budget flexibility and the criterion of efficiency (from the perspective of insurers).
In the summer of 2014, Russia imposed a food embargo on most agricultural products from countries that supported the anti-Russian sanctions. In this study we use vector autoregression and neural network modelling to assess the eff ect of the embargo on the bilateral trade relations between the European Union (EU) (using the example of Hungary as an EU Member State) and Russia. In particular, the changes in the dynamics of Hungary’s aggregate agricultural exports in response to the shock of the embargo, as well as to Russia’s imports of products banned under the embargo, are analysed. The work also looks at the eff ectiveness of the introduction of the embargo with the aim of implementing import substitution policies and supporting domestic producers. Our results show the ineff ectiveness of the Russian import substitution policy and the negative eff ects on both Russian and Hungarian parties.
A fundamental challenge in impact evaluations that rely on a quasi-experimental design is to define a control group that accurately refl ects the counterfactual situation. Our aim is to evaluate empirically the performance of a range of approaches that are widely used in economic research. In particular, we compared three diff erent types of matching algorithms (optimal, greedy and nonparametric). These techniques were applied in the evaluation of the impact of the MARENA programme (Manejo de Recursos Naturales en Cuencas Prioritarias), a natural resource management programme implemented in Honduras between 2004 and 2008. The key findings are: (a) optimal matching did not produce better-balanced matches than greedy matching; and (b) programme impact calculated from nonparametric matching regressions, such as kernel or local linear regressions, yielded more consistent outcomes. Our impact results are similar to those previously reported in the literature, and we can conclude that the MARENA programme had a significant, positive impact on beneficiaries.
Improving agricultural research impact is an important goal for the European Union (EU). The EU Framework 7 project Impresa studied the process of research impact across Europe, and this article selects and discusses results drawn from the 11 Eastern EU Member States. The major methods used were a survey of the levels and trends of research expenditures by the public and private sectors, case studies identifying impact pathways of individual science-based innovations, and quantitative analyses of the relationship between research investments and their final impacts. The conclusions drawn are that, despite the potentially high payback from public investments in agricultural science, insufficient resources are being invested by the post-2004 EU accession countries, and improvements in innovation capacity and networking should enhance the efficiency of research impact.
European agriculture is highly mechanised and its development is to a large extent shaped by the constant need for investment. By combining private capital with public funds, the risk burden associated with investment can be shared. The general economic objective of investment support is to improve the efficiency of production factors, such as labour, land and capital. The Rural Development Programme of the Czech Republic for 2007-2013 included a preferential criterion, the objective of which was to give an advantage to farms in Less Favoured Areas (LFA) by facilitating their access to funding for investments. This paper evaluates the investment activities of agricultural holdings located in Czech LFAs in the period 2011-2015, compared to those that are not located in LFAs. Binary logistic regression was employed to identify factors, such as LFA type, farm size, share of other revenues, indebtedness of a farm and stocking density of cattle, that infl uenced whether a farm was or was not supported with an investment subsidy. We conclude that supported farms in LFAs have higher levels of economic performance and higher labour productivity than unsubsidised farms. It is evident that many farms, especially in mountain areas, are interested in investment activities and are trying to develop their businesses. They have a lower likelihood of business failure than those farms that do not invest.
In the European Union’s (EU) 2007–2013 programming period, 29 Local Action Groups (LAG) were registered in Slovakia. The rural regions covered by these LAGs have been selected for detailed time-space analysis of two specific aspects of commuting to work: (a) the share of intra-LAG, predominantly rural-to-rural commuting, from the total numbers of out- and in-commuters (indicator of intra-LAG entrepreneurial activity, economic networking, social capital and diffusion of codified and/or tacit knowledge); and (b) the share of individual LAG out-commuters abroad from the total number of out-commuters from territories of individual LAGs (indicator of ‘openness’ of rural communities towards new challenges which is aimed at improving their living standards). Two years have been selected for the comparison: 2001 (prior to the establishment of LAGs and the accession of Slovakia to the EU, its entry into the Schengen Area, and the opening of labour markets of the EU Member States to the citizens of the Slovak Republic) and 2011 (after the establishment of LAGs and the ‘Europeanisation’ of Slovakia). Statistical analysis showed the position and attractiveness of most LAGs as local labour markets has weakened during the period 2001- 2011.
This paper investigates the triple helix (industry, knowledge workers and governments) cooperation on knowledge co-production and valorisation for innovation, which took place in seven horticultural regions in the Netherlands. It thus provides more empirical insight into the functioning of this form of cooperation. Based on a secondary multiple case study analysis, this paper sets out to ascertain what enabled triple helix cooperation in the seven regions with respect to the organisation, the formulation and support for goals and action on knowledge co-production and valorisation. The results indicate that in order to stimulate innovation through triple helix cooperation, the different partners first need to build a proper working relationship and a common language. In order to accomplish this, primary aims for innovation should not be formulated too ambitiously (i.e. too far beyond the entrepreneurs’ daily practice, in particular SMEs). Knowledge workers and policy makers often want to stimulate knowledge co-production and valorisation more radically and quickly. Hence, they have to temper their ambitions. Procedures regarding the cooperation should be rather simple and fl exible. Once a steady working relationship and a common language are developed, then the triple helix collaboration can focus on taking the innovation ambition to a higher level in order to realise more valuable change. At first, entrepreneurs have to experience how they can profit from the cooperation and learn to incorporate knowledge co-production and valorisation step-by-step in their business strategy, including financial investments.
Menter a Busnes (MaB), an economic development company based in Wales, UK, has been using group processes and specifically Action Learning with rural businesses since 2003. Action Learning is fundamentally a coaching process with the coachee being supported by a facilitated group of like-minded individuals who must be willing to learn and to change. The process is designed to develop management capabilities, instigate change and empower and encourage group members to create viable and sustainable businesses for the future. Action Learning is used by MaB’s management development programme for Welsh farmers and foresters, namely Agrisgôp. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal mixed-measures study designed to evaluate the impact of the Agrisgôp programme. Three different questionnaires were developed and completed by over 1,000 Agrisgôp group members pre-, mid- and post-group participation. The results indicate that Agrisgôp’s Action Learning intervention is successfully encouraging and supporting its group members to seek out, instigate and embrace change. The respondents reported increased confidence, improved communication skills, were better able to apply new information to their business, had a more positive attitude to change, and were more likely to have a long term business strategy as a consequence of the Agrisgôp group intervention. The quantitative analysis was supported by qualitative data. Some conclusions are drawn with regard to lessons learnt and possible ways forward, both for Agrisgôp and for this approach to programme evaluation.
Despite achieving independence 25 years ago, Georgia is still a country in transition which is striving to overcome wideranging economic development problems, particularly evident through out-migration from rural areas to urban centres and foreign countries, as well as through restricted employment integration. The ‘European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia’ focuses on local development in rural regions as a main national goal and offers a series of pilot actions to apply LEADER-like activities in various rural parts of the country. In this paper the application of such a pilot scheme in Borjomi Municipality, the observed case study in the Lesser Caucasus, is analysed. Reviews show a highly committed implementation process, comprising the establishment of the Local Action Group, the elaboration of the Local Development Strategy, an on-going mobilisation process of local actors and the transfer of experiences and good practices from European Union Member States. The assessment of the potential of the LEADER approach in the rural and mountainous area of Borjomi Municipality reveals a high degree of acceptance and interest of rural stakeholders and residents to taking up such an approach and engaging in innovative initiatives within the frame of sustainable rural development. Given the short period of work with these ideas so far, continued knowledge transfer, and enhanced appreciation and participation in search of place-specifi c opportunities in rural regions will be essential for successful rural development pathways across Georgia.
This paper presents a critical discussion of the concepts of farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience, which are typically discussed separately in the literature. While farm-level viability frequently focuses on measurable economic factors, sustainability is comparatively more elusive because of its added social, cultural and ecological dimensions. Resilience, in turn, is unambiguous in the sense that it requires particular conditions, but is achieved in dynamic ways. A traditional resilience strategy in agriculture globally is co-operative action, involving farmers working together to enhance their viability and sustainability, often achieving resilience. We draw attention to agricultural development models that are distinctive because they leverage co-operative action in and between family farms in agricultural communities while pursuing integrated viability, sustainability and resilience strategies. We focus on the prospect of such rural development models, particularly a values-based supply chain approach, and identify crucial considerations and future research needs.
A study of the agricultural factor markets that support the farm economy of the southeastern United States aids the understanding of how farmers change the mix of factors as product and factor prices change. Factor demand elasticities were estimated for capital, land, labour, chemicals, energy and other intermediate inputs. On average; labour accounted for USD 0.410 of every USD 1 spent on agricultural inputs followed by other intermediate inputs, which accounted for USD 0.255. The demands for farm labour and other intermediate inputs were inelastic. The demand for farm chemicals was elastic, which indicates a lack of pricing power by companies that sell them. A substantial reduction in the use of farm chemicals could be achievable by increasing their price. Most of the factors are substitutes with the exceptions of capital and energy, and land and chemicals; which were found to be complements.
This paper attempts to identify the main factors influencing the decisions regarding educational choices of rural youth from Cluj county, Romania. In order to achieve this, data collected in three waves of survey, in 2007, 2011 and 2015, were combined. The three surveys used the same methodology, thus allowing us to test the stability of the outcomes over a period of eight years, to highlight the main changes occurring in this period and to test statistically the factors of influence on a larger sample. The results show that the share of those who intend to study further slightly increased in the period 2007-2015. Regression analysis lead us to five factors that have a statistically significant influence on continuing education: the parents’ attitude towards continuing education, the age, the number of siblings; the school performance and the computer skills of the respondents. Some other individual, family and locality-related variables also correlated significantly with the intention to study further. Based on the conclusions, some policy implications are discussed.
There are problems in the functioning of the food supply chain related to price transmission and value-added distribution. Vertical price transmission analysis is an important research area in the aspect of the assessment of impact on the welfare at the producer, processor and retailer levels. The paper investigates vertical price transmission along the whole milk supply chain after the end of European Union milk quotas in the Slovak market using a vector error correction model. Monthly farm-gate, processor and retail prices in the Slovak Republic covering the period from 2010 to 2016 were used in the analysis. Using the Johansen co-integration technique, empirical evidence has been found for two co-integration equations between farm-gate, processor and retail prices. We show that short-term and long-term bilateral causal relationships exist between prices at different market stages. The estimation of the price transmission elasticity supports the assumption that price changes are not transmitted efficiently from one level to another. However, symmetric price transmission exists between farm-gate and processor prices for whole milk in the long term. The perfect price transmission may also be due to recently emerging and strengthening the producer organisations that enable producers support their bargaining position in the supply chain.
Building on transaction cost economics theoretical framework, we examined the determinants of long-term business relationships between farmers and buyers in the Albanian dairy chain in a context characterised by weak institutions and lack of formal contract. Logistic regression analysis was employed to test the model on primary data collected from a sample of 315 Albanian farmers engaged in the production of sheep and goat milk. The study results support our hypotheses that trust, uncertainty and investment in specific assets are key determinants of long-term relationships. Implications at managerial and policy-making levels are discussed. At a managerial level, dairy owners and managers need to build trust with farmers and mitigate uncertainties as a precondition for long-term relationships. At the policy level, the government subsidy schemes need to be further refined in order to motivate farmers to increase flock size and strengthen vertical relationships in the dairy value chain, the latter being a precondition also to achieve traceability and improve standards.
The paper uses an endogenous switching regression model to measure the impact of participation in micro-irrigation development on households’ welfare. The model takes into account selection bias associated with programme participation and endogeneity problems often encountered in most programme evaluations. A total of 482 households (195 irrigation users and 287 non-users) were used to generate all the necessary variables. To capture the impact of the irrigation on household welfare, two indicators were consideredv namely household farm income (Y) and household fixed asset formation (F) (evaluated at market Price during the survey period). The results show a positive and significant impact of irrigation use on the two outcome variables: income by 8.8 per cent and asset formation by 186 per cent as compared to non-users. This shows how important the micro-irrigation schemes are in improving the welfare of poor farmers in the research areas. Furthermore, the empirical results show that the probability of using one of the water sources (irrigation scheme) is associated with farm experience (age as proxy), farmer-to-farmer contact (the existence of an irrigation user neighbour), family size, the state of credit constraint, the number of visits by extension agents and the cost of irrigation development. As a robustness check, different models were applied and results were found consistent, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Consistent with the trend witnessed in other European countries, in recent years there has been an increasing demand among Hungarian consumers for products purchased directly from farmers. However, no research has been published on the determination of clusters of consumers of short food supply chain (SFSC) products in Hungary. This study describes which groups of consumers are more likely to purchase such products, and their reasons for doing so. In the summer of 2013, 1,015 randomly-sampled adults were asked to complete questionnaires during face-to-face, on-street meetings with trained staff. The survey explored their willingness to support direct sales and production of local foods, their perceptions of product reliability, and their attitudes toward global supply-driven systems. As it was not possible to identify a clear structure of factors determining opinions, perceptions and attitudes directly from the results of the questionnaires, principal component analysis was performed, and K-mean cluster analysis was used to partition the respondents into five clusters. These were labelled 'Favouring imports and large farms, 'Favouring small farms', 'Informed and empowered consumers group in favour of local farms', 'Universally positive' and 'Unconcerneď. This method was effective in identifying groups of potential target consumers. The level of support for local foods rises with increasing age, and is higher among women, the more highly educated, those that are economically active or retired, and those that consider themselves as having an average income. The results can be used to promote the demand for SFSC products in Hungary through more effective targeting of marketing activities by farmers involved in direct selling, and their organisations.